Lemonade from loaded lemon trees

I have a complex about lemons. No matter where I live I am surrounded by lemon trees abundant with fruit, while my feeble, ever optimistic attempts to grow the trees turn into spindly, barren jokes. Every day, summer, winter, spring, I make the long trek to the back of the yard – yes, the tree is facing north – to see if it has grown, or paled. Nothing changes, day in day out. I have even taken to inspections late at night to watch and assist the twinkling of the stars under the lemon tree. Still nothing.

Meanwhile, these superior neighbours, presumably with trees sitting on the same soil, with similar aspects, flaunt their fruit at me.

The funny thing about owners of loaded lemon trees: they moan about as much as I do. It seems they never know what to do with the damned things. It makes you wonder: when it comes to lemons, is anybody happy?

enough lemons to provide 250 ml of sieved juice

Depending on size, that should be somewhere between 4 and 6

zest of 3 large lemons

Here’s a tip: do it with a potato peeler.

The zest comes off like a shot, as clean as a whistle.

250g white sugar 250ml water the tips of fresh peppermint or mint


Bring the sugar and water and zest to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Allow to boil until it starts to roll – about 30 seconds.


Leave to cool with the zest, then add the lemon juice, and return to the boil. Add the peppermint and leave to cool. Strain and bottle.


Use the cordial sparingly with ice-cold water. Try it with gin. You’ll want more.

One Response to “Lemonade from loaded lemon trees”

  1. Cameron says:

    Slatts, how true. I have the most amazing lemon tree in the backyard despite giving it zero love. Friends always comment on this beautiful tree and I’ve never known what to do with these yellow beauties until now.

    Thanks for sharing your infinite wisdom.